2014 candidate for Alexandrina Council.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
Councils need to ensure that heritage conservation is viable for the long rather than short term. Built forms are important but without commercial enterprise, the ongoing maintenance of older structures is at risk. To this end, co-contributions ought to be investigated wherever possible. Pedantic and rigidly codified policies about particular attributes are disincentives for individuals and businesses so a case-by-case approach is crucial. The principles of conservation must always be kept in mind but practical outcomes are what truly secure our built and natural forms. Simply feeling good about heritage conservation is not really conserving anything other than stagnation and possibly deterioration. It is also vitally important to understand that contemporary constructs are tomorrow's heritage so policies that deny diversity ought to be avoided. Heritage is about people and the stories that attend place and space. With this in mind, we need to be careful to preserve the connection our community has with its environments. An empty building or space is not a reliable way to go about securing our heritage because the stories and experiences will not be transmitted or made meaningful. Quite simply, heritage is a living thing, not simply a matter of aesthetics.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
The role of private enterprise is at the heart of our society and culture and so it is therefore a primary participant in local heritage. Heritage built forms must allow contemporary practices to be undertaken and opportunities for tourism need to be maximized. Small grants and funds ought to be made available on a more regular basis to ensure that private property owners of significant and listed heritage assets are not overwhelmed by the cost of conservation. Reasonable monitoring and reporting methods by Heritage Officers need to be transparent and open to public consultation and criticism.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
In Strathalbyn, our stone buildings are subject to salt-damp and substantial maintenance costs. We also have recurrent and escalating issues with the damage of our natural heritage sites because of the Small Corella and developing waterway management. We need to re-invigorate the branding of our township as an excellent day-trip destination that offers retail and heritage experiences so that heritage conservation is more viable.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
Please refer to my previous statements.
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
Yes. Local decision making is the best way to maintain cohesion and accountability.
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
I am passionate about history, heritage (built and natural) and community cohesion. When we secure our heritage, we conserve our sense of place, space and belonging. I will strive to make heritage matters a process of collaboration rather than onerous imposition.